Jaap Stam: Reading manager defends squad rotation policy

Chris Gunter and Jaap Stam
Reading manager Jaap Stam (right) made four changes for the visit of Newcastle United

Reading manager Jaap Stam defended rotating key players as he prepares for the Championship promotion run-in.

Dutchman Stam made four changes for the visit of leaders Newcastle United on Tuesday and hinted more rotation would be on the way in their final 10 games.

"At the moment, it's not about individuals, it's about the team performance in what we want to achieve together," he told BBC Radio Berkshire.

Reading are fifth in the Championship after Tuesday's 0-0 stalemate.

The Royals held Newcastle to their first goalless draw of the season, while Garath McCleary almost netted a late winner when his stoppage time shot skimmed the crossbar.

"We've got a squad with a few players and we can make choices to give a few a rest so that they can be sharper when they step back in," Stam said after the game.

"It's important with the changes you make that you can still get results. Everyone in the squad knows what's expected from them, what they need to do and the choices they make.

"Sometimes it happens that you can play and then maybe the next game, you're not even in the squad.

"I think everybody is committed to that and we can keep that up until the end of the season."